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New contrabass sax recording

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Tonight, finally, I had a couple of hours to myself and I made a recording of the Eppelsheim "conventional" contrabass saxophone (Is any contrabass conventional?)

I've done some videos of this horn using a cheap video camera, but this recording does the horn some justice. It's Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" with Nelson's incredible tenor sax solo transcribed for the big horn - TWO octaves down. Here's the link:

http://www.members.aol.com/saxtek/StolenMoments.Mp3

Or just go to my Myspace page, below. The new recording will play automatically. Thanks.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
That's beautiful Randy! I love the sound you have developed, in a fairly short time, on your newest horn. Nicely done!! I especially the mid to high range of instrument.

IMO, from the recordings I've heard to date, the contra wins hands down, over the Eb Tubax in the sound department.

Could you be convinced to do the same recording again, only this time on the Tubax, so that the horns could be heard doing the same piece of music? (Although I suspect that there may be a low A in there, that your Tubax couldn't play.)

That to me has always been the most difficult part in comparing the 2 instruments. Since Eppelsheim hasn't made contras before, the recordings out there have always been of different makes of horns, of different pieces of music, of different players, the list of differences goes on.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
There are lots of low A notes in Stolen Moments, which is why I didn't do it on Tubax. I prefer the sound of the contra - more like other saxophones, and less nasal in the upper register. However, the more centered sound of the Tubax makes pitch more recognizable on the lowest notes (low C on down). I thought the contrabass would be harder to play than the Tubax, but it was much easier than I had anticipated. The contra takes a little more air, however, about as much as bass saxophone.

I use pretty much the same mouthpiece on contrabass sax as on bass sax, but my contra mouthpiece is one size larger for live performances. That was unexpected. I thought the opposite would be true, but Benedikt Eppelsheim told me that the different bore taper on the contrabass makes the mouthpiece behave as though it had a smaller facing.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I found that the enormous front end bore of the Eppelsheim bass made me choose a smaller mouthpiece. On tenor and baritone, I use mouthpieces with a .120" tip opening and fairly soft reeds. On bass sax I usually use a smaller tip (Zinner 6, whatever that is) and I still use soft reeds.

The contrabass has a smaller opening on the mouthpiece end of the neck than the bass. The Zinner 7 works best for me on the giant horn, with LeGere 2 1/2 bass sax reeds.
 
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